COMMENTARY — Though I risk a nasty email from Captain Obvious, let me just say, man it’s hot outside.
I’ve been in southern Utah for 22 years now and have loved it from the day we moved down from up north. But I still have a hard time when football and the other fall sports roll around and it’s still 100 degrees — at 8 p.m.!
I’ve been hopping around the region visiting football practices and even late at night it’s still so darn hot. And I’m sitting in the shade, sipping a cold drink. Those fellas down on the field running pass patterns and chasing down ball-carriers have to be on fire.
But regardless of the weather, football is here. Hurricane kicks it off with a game on television Thursday night (KJZZ-14) against Skyline up in Salt Lake City. The rest of the region opens up Friday, with Desert Hills hosting Jordan (CEC-TV, ESPN-Radio), Pine View hosting Judge Memorial (890-AM KDXU radio), Dixie visiting Springville, Snow Canyon up at Payson and Cedar home against 4A Provo.
The preseason, or non-region, games provide some interesting insight into what the regular season and playoffs might hold for each team. But it’s probably important to note that the preseason, while an indicator, doesn’t do anything to determine playoff seeding or even potential.
Remember, a year ago Dixie High went 2-2 in the preseason and even started region play with two losses. Six games into the season, the Flyers were 2-4 and their defense was a mess, allowing nearly 40 points a game. Of course, this Dixie story has a happy ending, with the Flyboys winning their last eight games in a row, including the 27-19 state championship victory over Hurricane.
One of the great moments from that run was the 49-42 win at Stansbury in the state quarterfinals. In that game, Dixie was down 42-21 at the end of the third quarter. A series of fortunate events and big plays helped Dixie outscore the Stallions 28-0 the rest of the game.
So enjoy the preseason, but remember, it’s the games in October and November that really count.
One other note on football: Logan and Judge Memorial join the 3AA ranks. The Grizzlies, who have been a football powerhouse for two decades, drop down from 4A while the Bulldogs, who play Pine View in the first game of the season at Panther Stadium, won the 3A state title last season (by a whopping score of 63-14 over Juab). Juan Diego drops down to 3A.
Look for our St. George News team previews Wednesday and Thursday, plus previews for soccer and volleyball.
So, the heat rolls on down on those rubber-pelleted turf fields, but football cannot be stopped — well, except by lightning, but that’s another story altogether.
Here’s this week’s schedule:
Hurricane at Skyline, 7 p.m. (KJZZ-TV)
Dixie at Springville, 7 p.m.
Jordan at Desert Hills, 7 p.m. (CEC-TV, ESPN Radio 106.1)
Judge Memorial at Pine View, 7 p.m. (890-AM KDXU)
Provo at Cedar, 7 p.m. (590-KSUB)
Snow Canyon at Payson, 7 p.m.
Cedar at Spanish Fork, 4 p.m.
Hurricane at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Syracuse at Desert Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Hurricane at Delta, 4 p.m.
Syracuse at Snow Canyon, 7:30 p.m.
Dixie at Stansbury, 3:30 p.m.
Pine View at Waterford, 3:30 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Fremont, 3:30 p.m.
Desert Hills at Westlake, 10 a.m.
Pine View at Rowland Hall, 11 a.m.
Snow Canyon at Davis, 11 a.m.
Canyon View at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
Dixie at Panguitch, 7 p.m.
This Week in Region 9 is a column written by St. George News sports editor Andy Griffin. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. George News.
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